WHS File Corruption Issue – More Info

Windows expert Ed Bott has been in contact with the Windows Home Server team, who have given more information on the file corruption issue that affects the following programs when using them to save files to your home servers:

  • Windows Vista Photo Gallery
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2003
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
  • Microsoft Money 2007
  • SyncToy 2.0 Beta

Additionally, there have been customer reports of issues with Torrent applications, with Intuit Quicken, and with QuickBooks program files.

This is what the team said:

“This issue does not affect every Windows Home Server installation, and the symptoms require several factors that are not mentioned in the KB article. The largest contributing factor is when a home server is under extreme load. If you’re doing a large, highly demanding file copy operation in the background and you’re using one of the listed applications to edit a file that’s stored on a shared folder on the home server, and you save the edited file to the server, then you might see this bug.”

The team then added that: 

“Meanwhile, backups stored on a Windows Home Server are completely safe, as are files copied to the server for safekeeping or streaming. This issue affects only files that are saved directly from one of the listed applications to a shared folder on a Windows Home Server.”

More info available from Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report.

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  1. WHS MS says:

    Windows Home Server isn’t READY for Home Users!

    1) Microsoft warns of file corruption in Windows Home Server – TG Daily

    2) Windows Home Server Corrupts Your Files – Electronic House, MA

    3) Windows Home Server causing file corruption – Afterdawn.com

    4) Windows Home Server Suffers Data Corruption – SDA India Magazine, Singapore

    5) Windows Home Server trashes files – bit-tech.net, UK

    6) Microsoft’s Windows Home Server corrupts files – eFluxMedia


  2. JohnCz says:

    Previous poster obviously doesn’t have the fact right. Its a very special set of circumstances that causes the corruption. All those media outlets are just reporting the same thing and not doing any kind of independent testing. I’ve had my HP EX470 Windows Home Server for two months…and its worked without a hitch.

    It IS READY for HOME USERS!! AND it is getting better all the time because the WHS Team has said they would issue major/minor updates…sort of like XBox Spring/Fall Update…thats great news for customers.

  3. Susan says:

    Apparently, they didn’t even test it with their own software.

  4. dbData says:

    WHS bugs exemplify the precise reason I stopped using MS products and software built on Windows over 2 years ago.

    If I’m going to be an Alpha or Beta tester, I’m not going to pay for the “pleasure”.

    I can do that for free on Linux.

  5. Jonathan says:

    This is pretty messed up, and a little funny, too. I was a participant in the WHS beta program, and I reported this very bug to Microsoft very early in the beta process.

    Anyway, it’s just hilarious that Microsoft knew about the problem long ago and tried to avoid it until WHS actually released, and only now they are “looking into it”.

  6. TG Friday says:

    Why does WHS have added features that have to be turned off so that you can make it work!?

    Its unfortunate to know windows home server edition contains so many serious bugs. Call them what you want, but Home Server Users are NOT willing to buy this crapware and lose all our photos, music, movies, data just because one person says, “Hey, I didn’t experience a Blue Screen (BSoD) occurrence which all Microsoft end users have experienced over the years, especially with the latest and greatest Vista nightmare!

    Data corruption is nothing to laugh at! And it’s NOT just a once in a blue Moon event with WHS, but reported by many users even after WHS was released as OEM final!

    File Corruptions Plague Windows Home Server
    PC Magazine – Dec 27, 2007

  7. Bollmann says:

    Microsoft describes the problem, stating, “When you use certain programs to edit files on a home computer that uses Windows Home Server, the files may become corrupted when you save them to the home server.

    Microsoft details that the following file types are among those affected:

    * Photos
    * Office Outlook files (2007)
    * Office OneNote files (2003/2007)
    * Microsoft Money files
    * Quicken files
    * QuickBooks files
    * Torrent files

    I don’t think anyone would be too happy with that.

    By the way, Outlook 2003, Quickbooks, etc all have specific warnings against actively using data files directly off of a file server of any type. WHS is affected just as well here; these unsafe apps will have problems with WHS just like they will any other Windows file server. This quirk will likely never be fixed.

  8. Mao says:

    So, what’s next? WHS Service Pack 1?

  9. Anna N. says:

    Is WHS really designed to provide simple, fast backup of data files from main computers that can be easily restored in the event of data loss?

    Ironically, the product may do some users more harm than good. That’s definitely a problem!

    WHS is supposed to be that backup agent, instead of the cause of data loss, right?

    So, until a fix is found, Microsoft recommends that you back up your data before backing up your data. Is that what you want to use and purchase WHS for? This is unacceptable Microsoft!!!

  10. Doug H. says:

    Let’s NOT forget Microsoft’s FolderShare — an application intended to sync files on multiple systems — was deleting user’s files instead of syncing them.

    What the point of this server if it’s going to corrupt you data?

    Shouldn’t files stored on a WHS network be available for editing and saving?

    I have to laugh when I read the part about “The files had to be fairly large (reported by Redmond Developer News), at least 2 or 3 megabytes in size.” It is ridiculous to think that this day and age, a 2-3MB file can be considered “fairly large” by a company like MS.

    What d you think typical home users will want to file share on their WHS machines? TXT only files? You got to be joking!

    Also, a friend of mine who works for Microsoft provided me the issue with WHS data corruption is most likely because of WHS Drive Extender technology, which is unique to WHS and is what allows it to present all data files as a single shared folder even when they are located on different physical disks.

  11. Greg says:

    Don’t back up your files to Windows Home Server, as recommended by Microsoft themselves? I’m not exactly sure what the point is in having a home server if you can’t back up files on it.

  12. Hi everyone,
    Thanks for all your comments – The discussion continues!

  13. joe guido says:

    puchased a WHS (HP) to replace a linux samba box (that has been running for 2 years without a hitch).

    copied some backups that were stored on the samba server (21 GB files).

    Tryed to restore one of them from the WHS .. it was corrupt. It restored fine from the linux box. Glad I didn’t shut id down yet!

    Bought the WHS to replace the linux box since the linux box has some limitations due to extremely old hardware (pentium 3 computer with only IDE slots) and I am running out of space!

  14. Jason says:

    HP just released the following information,

    “You should not directly open and/or edit files that are stored on the MediaSmart Server while doing any other activity such as large data transfers or media streaming. If you are doing a large data transfer or streaming and need to edit a file on the server, you should first copy the file over to a PC and then open it for editing.

    There are a few key applications that Microsoft has identified that can cause this issue when files are opened and edited directly from the server. However to be safe, HP recommends that you not open/edit files directly from the server until this fix is delivered.”

    🙁 🙁 🙁

  15. Hi Jason,
    Thanks for the info.

  16. Max says:

    Hi everyone,
    WHS corrupts your files not only if you are using the listed programs !! I copied a lot of files from several hard disks to my home server, in summary around 500GB private and business files – very nice, with new folder structure… I cleaned up my data and it took around 2 weeks !! Now I found out that some of the files had a folder length of more than 250 chars – WHS informed me about that from time to time (not at once), but after this issue most of the files became corrupt too !! (they are undeletable (file handle error) and unreadable).
    I kept all my files now more than 10 years (O.K. unsorted on 4 different disks, but I never lost anything) and now I wanted to change to a safe NAS, WHS !! :((. And what do I have now ? A machine which crushes my data and finally I do not have any chance to find out, if or which files are O.K. or corrupt – I can not laugh about that, I could cry !!!

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